Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll Accused of Lesbian Fling With Top Aide
Of course, the claims are coming from a former Carroll staffer who was fired and is facing third-degree felony charges for illegally taping Carroll's conversations and supplying one of them to a newspaper reporter.
Carletha Cole, the former aide making the accusations, was arrested in October. She allegedly taped a conversation between Carroll and her chief of staff. In the conversation, the former chief of staff was allegedly critical of Gov. Rick Scott and said he was "afraid" of her and was "not leading." (Carroll had a history of being critical of Scott before she was chosen as his running mate.) In Florida, all recordings must be made with the consent of those being recorded. If convicted of the charges, Cole could face up to five years in prison. Cole, a minister and grandmother, had been previously fired after going public with inter-office squabbles occurring in the lieutenant governor's office, and apparently isn't yet done with airing Carroll's alleged dirty laundry. Whether her accusations are true is another matter.
According to the Associated Press, Cole's attorney filed a document in court making the allegations. Cole contends she found Carroll and one of her top aides, Beatriz "Bibi" Ramos, in a "compromising position" in Carroll's office. In a press release issued a few weeks ago, Cole had previously accused Carroll of "nepotism and misuse of office for sexual escapade."
Cole also claims Ramos was living in the lieutenant governor's home.
Cole helped arranged travel plans for the Carroll, and at one point she was told by Ramos to find adjoining hotel rooms for the lieutenant governor and Ramos whenever they traveled, Cole claims. However, when Carroll and her husband traveled to Puerto Rico last summer, Cole says she arranged to have Ramos stay in an adjoining room but was scolded for it and never given a reason.
It should be noted, though, that Ramos and Cole's working relationship was not cordial. In March 2011, Ramos threw a cigar in Cole's office waste basket after taking a few puffs of it during a St. Patrick's Day party. The action sparked a fire that another employee extinguished. Cole maintains the fire was set intentionally. After investigating the matter, however, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement ruled the fire accidental.
Carroll says all of Cole's accusations are not true.
"That's totally false and absurd," Carroll told the AP.
Carroll, Florida's highest ranking African American official, spent the morning addressing the NAACP conference and explaining why President Obama was bad for the African American community.
Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.